Prada Replaces McDonald’s in Milan’s Elegant Galleria Vittorio Emanuele: My interview with The Guardian
The McDonald’s fast food restaurant in Milan’s historic Galleria Vittorio Emanuele shopping arcade finally closed its doors last Tuesday, October 16th to make way for a new Prada store.
After twenty years of activity, the busiest McDonald’s in Milan has given way to high fashion, but not without a little hullabaloo: McDonald’s “Democratic Lunch” initiative, which involved offering its classic menu with burgers, fries and drinks for free, attracted thousands of young people.
In the midst of the clamour surrounding the McDonald’s closure, I was interviewed by The Guardian. Here’s what I had to say on the matter: “For stores like Prada or Gucci, to have a McDonald’s across from them probably didn’t play well into the prestige of the gallery. It probably struck a wrong chord with the elegant, salon-of-Milan image.”
There is some speculation that McDonald’s is planning to sue the City of Milan for € 24 million (£ 19.5m) in damages and loss of revenues, others believe a deal was struck, and I, too, am of the opinion that “McDonald’s doesn’t go away for nothing.”
City officials said the space, for which McDonald’s was reputedly paying around € 200,000 a year, was put out to public bid in 2011. The new rent, fixed by competitive tender, is € 2,118,310 for an initial five year period.
Prada outbid Apple and Gucci to obtain the precious location. McDonald’s objected to the public bid process arguing that it discriminated against restaurants.